Province of Manitoba media bulletin
- An embankment holding back water on a tributary of Birdtail Creek is failing. This will result in a surge of water travelling quickly down Birdtail Creek and will affect communities downstream.
- Flows could be as high as 20,000 to 30,000 cubic feet per second, depending the size and development of the breach. The water is projected to reach:
-the Waywayseecappo First Nation one to four hours after the release,
-Birtle nine to 12 hours after release, and
-The Birdtail Sioux First Nation 12 to 15 hours after release.
- Water may go over some roads in the area and there could be damage to bridges in the town of Birtle.
- The Waywayseecappo First Nation, the Birdtail Sioux First Nation, the rural municipalities of Birtle, Rossburn and Miniota and the town of Birtle all have plans in place and are in the process of evacuating people at risk from the valley.
- Alerts have been issued advising the public of the situation and officials are advising residents in low-lying areas to evacuate.
- The RCMP report affected residents from the Waywayseecappo First Nation were evacuated last night as a precaution.
- PTH 45 has been closed between the junctions of PR 264 and PR 476, and traffic is being routed back to PTH 16. Flag staff and signs have been placed in the valley to stop traffic from entering the possible flood path.
- The breach is due to the blocking of a box culvert by ice. This resulted in a significant volume of water building-up behind a former railroad embankment (now part of the Trans Canada Trail) just upstream of PTH 45.
- Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation continue to work with stakeholders and communities in the area to continue assessing and monitoring the situation.
People are reminded:
- to be watchful of local waterways as flood conditions can develop quickly and ice conditions may be unsafe,
- to avoid crossing areas with broken ice and surface water,
- not to drive or walk through fast-moving water, and
- to call 511 to check road conditions before travelling.
Questions or concerns about flooding or water management should be directed first to the municipal authority. Anyone with questions about water levels, provincial waterways or provincial water control infrastructure can call 204-945-8373 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., seven days a week.